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Then I began re-assembling all the valves and springs. I was re-using the original springs and collets so I recovered them from their numbered freezer bags, washed them in paraffin and re- assembled on the new valves. Fitting the collets can be tricky as my spring compressor is not really suitable for this engine but with some grease and lots of fiddling I got them all done. Once you have fitted the spring and removed the compressor you need to tap the tips of the valve stem with a soft faced mallet to settle the components. The collets will often move another mm or so further down once tapped a few times


After fitting the valves I then wiped the head gasket surface with thinners to ensure no trace of old gasket remained and that the surface was free from any dirt.


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Now before fitting the head I decided to clean the piston crowns. Being extremely careful to avoid dirt getting into the various oil and water ways or the engine interior I polished the pistons using fine emery paper and a polishing mop on a cordless drill. I turned the engine to get each piston to the top of the bore for


cleaning it. I had stuffed rags into all the holes to avoid dirt entering and my wife held a powerful vacuum cleaner next to the tool as I was working to hopefully suck up the worst of the carbon flakes. Then the whole area was wiped clean with thinners and a new head gasket fitted.


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